“I would like to write about pain sometime but my publishers don’t want Chicken Paprika to suffer. They think that children should not know what it is to suffer, at least not through children’s books.” Thus goes on Patricia Suarez in her short-story Chicken Paprika as her character Julia Hurtado writes children’s books and her most famous work is also the same as Patricia’s title, Chicken Paprika.
But this short-story is not for children. I should rather say not just for children. It is about a woman in doubt about her happiness. A woman who fears happiness. A woman who had it all and lost it all. A woman who self-drifted in loneliness. A woman who wishes that her creativity is lost. A woman on the verge of self-destruction. A woman who wants to lose everything else, because she seems to have lost her child.
I tried to look up for this Latino writer online but didn’t find much in English to satisfy myself. Patricia hails from Argentina and her view of the world seems as wide as it can get. And she doesn’t try to complicate things by using unusual words as her writer character says, “I believe that writing stories is a way of showing others how you see the world. Sometimes it’s delightful, other times it’s a fiasco.” Julia, the first person narrator of this story, wants to write more. However, she keeps spending precious time after changing fonts in a blank document and never ends up writing anything these days. She starts her story by telling us this and she ends with the same font-changing act. Your heart goes out to her.
You want to help her. But all you can do is think of what font would you have used and savour the story as it ends.